On an unusually warm September day, QCC students, Phi Theta Kappa members, and a few staff members paddled their way into Wyvern lore to become the first dragon boat team in the school’s history during Worcester’s recent Dragon Boat Festival.
For those new to dragon boat racing, a dragon boat is a large canoe style boat that is decorated like a dragon. It’s made of fiberglass and measures approximately 46 feet long. Dragon boat teams consist of 21 members: 20 paddlers and one drummer, who sits at the front and sets the heartbeat of the boat to keep everyone paddling in sync.
The inaugural Worcester Dragon Boat Festival was held at DCR Regatta Point and Lake Quinsigamond and brought out 25 community and club teams that competed against each other. Three teams raced against each other in separate heats for the best overall time. The racing concluded with a final heat of the top timed finishers to determine the winner. While QCC was not in the top three, the Quinsigamond Wyverns made a fine first time showing and enjoyed themselves in the process.
“Seeing the boat in person was really awesome. I really enjoyed myself,” said QCC Student Senate President Ed Reitz. “The hardest part was remembering to breathe because you get so excited you almost forget. I look forward to next year.”
PTK member and QCC student Suzanne Inman echoed Mr. Reitz.
“It was a fun, team-building experience. I think it’s great that the school did this and brought us all together. There’s lots of things happening on campus,” Ms. Inman said. “I’m an older student and for people who are thinking twice about coming back to school, I say jump right in. It’s been a great experience getting to know people from different cultures and age groups. QCC is a really great place to go.”
QCC’s dragon boat team of QCC students and PTK members included: Drummer Nicole Bodinizzo and Rowers: Maia Shalev, Suzanne Inman, Toby Ajayi, Ed Reitz, Kimberly May, Nadeen lsammarraie, Martha Gabriel, Victor Rojas, Benjammin Aryeh, Cynthia Amoako, Susan Rivera, Marian Knight, Ana De la Torre, Autumn Rhonemus, Sthuar Molina, Ashley Blackman, Kayla Paterson, Director of Student Life and Leadership Mike Beane, PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman and Team Captain and QCC Dean of Students, Terry Vecchio.